Montréal Platforms venue highlight: BanQ Vieux-Montréal
(All photo credits to Alexey Lazarev, ico-D)
Located on Viger Avenue in Old Montréal, the BAnQ, the National Library and Archives of Québec (Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec) is an imposing building built one hundred years ago that forms part of a network of ten Library and National Archives of Québec located throughout the province. It is also this year's host venue for the ico-D Montréal Platform Meetings 2017.
BAnQ is a Québec governmental organisation that manages the legal deposit and national archives systems of the province as well as its national library, which is located in the Grande Bibliothèque in Montréal.
One of the BAnQ's missions is "to provide democratic access to the heritage material constituted by its collections, to culture and universal knowledge, and to act, in this respect, as a catalyst for the library and information institutions of Québec, thus contributing to the fulfilment of its citizens."
Tracing the evolution of Québec society from the time of colonisation to the present day, the BanQ collection includes civil, judicial, private and government archives of Québec. One of the features of BanQ are the Designing Libraries, an online collection of design resources and photos created in collaboration with the government of the United Kingdom. The architectural archives collections include 110,000 drawings of projects for religious, public and commercial buildings, as well as private residences. Several collections include maps and plans (73,000 items) which researchers can use to determine the locations of the lands owned by their ancestors or to track changes in the occupation of a territory. Unique to the venue are the Goddesses ("Déeses"), life-size sculptures that stand at the threshold of one of main halls.
BanQ was renovated between 1997 and 2000 by the winner of the 2008 Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) Gold Medal award, the highest honour the profession of architecture in Canada can bestow, to Dan Hanganu Architectes in collaboration with Provencher Roy + Associates. Hanganu's work is known for its consideration of the relationships between classical references and the strong cultural impact of architecture on people.
ico-D looks forward to holding the Platforms this year in this elegant and spectacular historical venue in Montréal.